James Altucher Podcast – Stephen Dubner – 05/2015


  • Stephen Dubner is one of the authors of the Freakonomics books
  • When to Rob a Bank is new book consisting of best blog posts from past 10 years
  • Levis tends to throw himself into a situation while Dubner tends to raise a question
  • Writing tends to be about ideas vs. specific things making more timeless
  • Didn’t A/B test book title, more concerned about saying things the way we wanted to
  • Freakonomics changed life fundamentally 1) could support family in NY 2) could continue working as a writer instead of getting another job
  • Altucher read Freakonomics five times in order to figure out why so different and why it works
    • Ah-ha idea isn’t enough, needs to weave in the stories
    • Stories have a power that other forms don’t have
    • Understanding why people did things and how they got to a certain solution
    • How do you brings reader into it with investment
    • How to take advantage of surprise
    • Someone in a situation that you or I wouldn’t be in
  • Dan Plan, guy quit job to practice 10,000 hour to mastery
  • Anders Ericsson owns literature in this area
  • The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance breaks down mastery for various professions, but very academic
  • Freakonomics thinking
    • Learn to upset your own cliches
    • find ways people assume are right and question
    • a lot of shortcuts only half right or completely wrong

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